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"The selection was made ​​only by the crahses and far, far from the finish. It was not about tactics, but about survival. Yoann Offredo was the last rider to support Arnaud but then he also crashed."

Photo: Muscat Municipality/Paumer/B.Bade

ARNAUD DEMARE

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30.03.2015 @ 13:11 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

In the oldest of his memories, FDJ manager Marc Madiot has not seen anything like this. The Rides braved the storm in Gent-Wevelgem, accompanied by torrential rain, and suffered for six and a half hour in the brutal conditions.

 

"It was a terrible day," said Marc Madiot. "It was constant stress because by the time it was really dangerous. The commissaires considered to neutralize the race and if they had acted as they would normally do, they would have done it. The riders kept crashing. The conditions were terrible and the winner Luca Paolini (Katusha) and those who survived (39 riders at the finish) were admirable and have done much for cycling today."

 

Like everyone else, Arnaud Démare crashed 160 kilometers from the finish. "His team-mates waited and took him back to the second field of 30 riders that were behind the 25 leaders," Madiot said. "The selection was made ​​only by the crahses and far, far from the finish. It was not about tactics, but about survival. Yoann Offredo was the last rider to support Arnaud but then he also crashed."

 

120 kilometers from Wevelgem, Demare was among the 50 riders that led the race. From there, however, it was all about survival for the French champion.

 

In the end, six riders isolated themselves in the lead group from which Paolini attacked 4 kilometers from the finish to win. Demare finished in a group that sprinted for 9th seven minutes later, with Alexander Kristoff (Kastuha) leading them across the line.

 

"And I am sure of one thing," Madiot said. "Arnaud Démare is in very good condition."

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